Photo Credit: Jennie Anne Benigas



January 2018

“It’s not enough to just look at pictures of art because that will only take you so far. You won’t feel the breadth of the Sistine Chapel unless you see the Sistine Chapel in person. I learn a lot from traveling and looking at as much art as I possibly can.” Frank Stella - “In Transit” The New York Times, 11/12/2017.



A New Decade Begins - Art

Dear Reader,

I know – it’s not 2020 yet, only 2018. Happy New Year. But this is the 20th year of my return to practicing art. True, I spent those in-between decades fueling my passion and learning about art from reading books and traveling to museums. My story can be found by linking to my artist’s statement, “About Judith Ferrara,” from the home page of What can two decades of making artwork look like? Please look at the website’s Gallery and Readings and Exhibitions pages. Since September 2004, I have used monthly Judy’s Journals as both documentation and reflection, so visits there will offer a more in-depth view of what one artist’s commitment looks like.

It occurred to me that once adults leave/retire/transition from their full-time employment, reading about another’s journey might be helpful or at least interesting. For three months, I will look back at my last two decades: January – art; February – poetry; March – research.

What can it mean to finally have time to explore those passions that began in childhood and wouldn’t go away? My first thought is that it’s a do-it-yourself job to start every day feeling as if you’re about to do several meaningful tasks. Sounds like work, doesn’t it? Creating art and poetry probably top the list of risky businesses. So, why do it? Because I love it, am able and cannot think of myself doing anything other than practicing art and writing. I get to work every day possible, which is most days. I am lucky.

The joy of making art is unbeatable. The world, with its troubles and confusions, falls away, at least for several hours. And that’s worth something. After two decades, I have more art in storage than has been sold, but I will keep making it. This color exercise is the first piece I painted for a class at the Worcester Art Museum in January 1998. I hadn’t taken a studio class in nearly 40 years. I cried when I began to move my palette knife through the blob of blues, because I was so happy to return to painting:

“Assignment #1”

This is an archival ink and pencil piece I finished 2 days ago.


It may not be easy to pinpoint what makes people happy, satisfied or fulfilled because we are all different. That’s why, when you finally figure it out, the fight to keep doing it and learning from it is yours.